So to start with, it’s been busy on the cutting/serving boards side of the shop were a few ideas were sprung in the past last week. Here are a few pictures. Many of you have seen some but here they are
To make some of these cutting/serving board, I went to get some wood and brought back some extra species for more projects.
Some Blood wood for some accents in the cutting board but also some other accents for futur build.
The Pao Amarillo is a Yellow wood, also used mostly for some accents in the boards.
As for the Khaya, this has some very nice tight straight grain, with the dimensions it has, offers a few good possibilities for some nice projects.
Well it’s mostly finish. Need to finish some drawers and this one will be complete. Already have most of the storage I want to do for the current tools I’ve got done and the tools are in.
There will always be some adjustments to be done and already planning for some additions of tools that I would need and was already in the plan. I’ve already got the perfect spot for them and kept it free for these tools. Standby, should come shortly.
The inspiration portion has been pretty good in the last few weeks. Been listening to the Made for Profit podcast and they have been landing very good interviews of people crushing it with there business and through different practice with there social media accounts.
Discovering these people through there website and different social media account got some ideas going which will come pretty soon on my side. My wood working is still very part time but plan to grow it. Many good insights for some of the practices in the interviews with Brad and Mike. Subscribe to the podcast and go see them with there respective presence.
Here is my latest addition in controlling dust in the shop : the Eclipse dust mask.
I was travelling to Edmonton for business early December and there was a local Lee Valley store. I could not take back something pretty large due to size and weight constraint, but a dust mask was something I deeply needed.
I wanted to see physically the model as I was looking for the this model for a little while. Here is the specific link to Lee Valley. I had the possibility to try onsite within the store and took the large model. I did not get the replacement filters yet but I plan to. Always a good thing to have spares and not a good time not to have them when you need them. And for the price, for me, it is hard to beat.
The fit is very good with the 2 straps that can be adjusted to about any head. I have to agree that I fit in the 70% that the large model fits. The description fitted me perfectly.
Like any facial mask to control dust, it goes against the face and any “excessive” facial hairs will impede some of the performance of any dust mask, even the best in my opinion. But it does a pretty good job and did some jobs so far that produced a fair share of dust and did see a difference in the air in the shop when the shop when I removed it.
To me, a dust mask I necessary but should not be the only dust control item that should exist in your shop. Personally, collecting it at the source as much as possible, is the best. The mask protects the closest to your body. Good filters in you dust collectors and potentially an air circulator/filter in the shop does a pretty good job for the smaller shop like mine.
Got some storage going to be able to add to the tool cabinet. I now have plane storage with room to spare. The plane till and well have been completed with some room to spare in both of them.
To me, the plane well is the structure that fits in the bottom portion of the cabinet. In the plan, it includes 2 small drawers and stores the smaller conventional planes, say up to No. 4 side plane.
It has 4 places for the block plane sized planes. I own 2 (low angle block plane from Lee Valley and rabbeting block plane from Lie Nielsen). See the first picture of these 2 planes installed in there small compartments. Still 2 more spaces in case I ever expand the collection for these smaller planes. Missing are the 2 drawers for accessories. Did not complete them yet, but this does not prevent me to at least install the structure in the cabinet.
The right portion of the well is to store bigger planes, I would say smaller then No. 4 or No 4 1/2 sized planes. The original plan called for 5 spaces but I ended up with 4 besides the block plane storage. Should be enough for a while. Stored in these compartments are my Lie Nielsen No. 4 and Lie Nielsen low angled smoother.
This is the plane well installed in the cabinet, in the bottom most compartment. There a space between the top shelve of the Well and the shelf that the plane till sits on. More space for other tools to be stored. More on that later.
The plane till in this design of the cabinet is angled to store other planes and is angled within the tool cabinet.
Stored in till are my No 5 1/2 Jack plane is the left most plane. It barely fitted from a length perspective. Next to it is my low angled jack plane. Both of these plane are from Lie Nielsen.
To the right of these planes are my 2 router planes (small from Lie Nielsen and larger from Lee Valley). I also got the Lie Nielsen small shoulder plane. All the devisions between the planes are in walnut and have milled more of these for expansions at later dates.
Here is the till installed in the cabinet. You can see the top doors for more storage on top of the till.
Next steps will be more storage of tools and hanging the front doors of the cabinet.
The next step for the tool cabinet was selecting the hardware. Yes I know that normally you select this before you do the project but the choice was already pretty much done (from plan) and the dimensions were pretty much set.
So came time to hand the main front doors and some dividers within these main doors. I went to big box stores thinking that I could find something decent without breaking too much the bank. I did look at the link from the plans/article from which I am building from and was surprise a bit with the price. I also did not know the company that sourced the hinges in the plan.
So I came back from my shipping spree and did not find anything quality and did not want to trust my tools that quality. Yes the price was cheap, but the product was also.
Went back to the link for the hardware to House of antique Hardware and decided to order the hinges that were included in the plan. 2 products were called for and ordered both (3″ x 2″ and 1-15/16 x 1-5/8) for the install.
Comments on the products
I ordered both products and the shipping went pretty fast, even for cross border shipping and the price was right. I was not in a big rush to selected the slowest shipping method.
Then the hardware came in the mailbox and man was I ever glad I ordered these hinges versus settling for what I saw at my local big box store.
There is no play and they are very thick plates where I will have no issues trusting these to my tools. I still need to install them on the doors and panels but so far, just with the visual inspection, they are very well made, move very nice. I choose the brass colour and matching screws.
What would made the deal sweeter would maybe include a metal screw to be able to pilot the brass screws. They are pretty soft and would not want to insert the brass screws directly without doing the hole before with something harder. Will probably do exactly that when permanently installing the hardware
After 5 years, a table saw has seen it’s way back into the shop.
Portable Contractor Table Saw
Well the idea of adding a table saw in the shop has been in the works for a little while. Various model, brands and a whole bunch of criteria were looked at and one of them that kind of won over the other was the space factor.
I have a one car garage and although I did have a bigger saw in the past in the same space, I did not have the same tool combination as I did back then.
So basically price and space came as a deciding factor and I know it comes with some compromise but was willing to work with these compromise
back in the past
about 5 years about, I made the choice to buy a band saw (long time wanting this tool) and decided to get rid of the table saw in favour the combo of a track saw and the band saw which I already wanted to buy anyway.
The bet was that I could get buy with these 2 tools to do most of the tasks that I needed and with the use of some hand planes, I were to be alright. Maybe not the quickest way of doing things but could work out.
Well it did for a while, somewhat. For the finish purpose, the rips were not too bad and worked out pretty good with the hand planes after the bandsaw and sometimes with the track saw.
The main complaint was efficiency for sure but also getting an easy way to be able to rip easily to a consistant width boards of various width. Larger boards was not too bad with the tack/tracksaw but the smaller width was a problem and this is another factor that made me look at getting a table saw to be added to the shop.
So the choice to go with the contractor table saw was for a space perspective and price but more on the space side of things.
Different model were looked at and the Bosch, Dewalt and SkillSaw were in the top selection and not necessarily in that order. Finally decided to go with the Skillsaw worm drive saw. Not there latest and greatest that they announce on there web site but will do for what I will do.
Mainly, it was for the ripping capabilities of the work drive that convinced me and people had good reviews. Granted that I don’t expect it to behave like a 3HP in a cabinet saw and really am aware of this, but for what I will do for the scale of work, this should do plenty for now.
Access to the controls are easy access and the adjustments were really easy to do and only minor tweaks were required to the saw I received. Dado insert from the manufacturer and special nut must be baught if dado sets are to be used. I did not get them yet, but this might be additions later on.
As for the stand, I built it based on the following Video from Happy Wife, Happy Life table saw stand. It was adapted to my table saw. Very good job on the build. Did not want to buy the official stand from the manufacturer as it lacked the potential of storage below the saw.
Go visit the following SkilSaw Workdrive Table saw site for more details on the saw itself
While I am building the hand tool cabinet, I got inspired to build another cabinet for the tools that did not really fit into this more hand tool cabinet. It now holds the various tools into 2 cabinets.
Various other requirements
I baught last christmas Wera screwdrivers and used the included holders that came with the kit but were a bit cheap and taught I could do better then the holders. This is what it looked like.
Had other tools that were in a tool holder on the floor. Pliers, scrapers, pliers and bunch of other tools that were just a mess and not really organized and collecting dust. I am building a hand tool cabinet and was thinking on the the design I am using from Fine Woodworking and could not find a proper way to hold these tools. Wanted some options opened in this tool cabinet so decided to expand on more then the screwdrivers
So as many of you, went on other social media and image banks for ideas to hold pliers and such other tools. As with many things, these are a combination of the found ideas the other did and the tools I got with the material I got at hand.
I also have the luxury to have a cabinet that I could reuse as it served as my router bit holder cabinet. Since the my router bits are now stored within the base of my router table I had a nice cabinet that I could reuse to convert for some storage.
This is the first part of the cabinet that I reuse/converted to the Screwdrivers and Pliers. It is mounted on french cleat to a wall that is close to my work bench. It allows me store the big rulers behind the cabinet and in front of the wall.
Because of the space constraint to clear for the screwdrivers, I decided to add a second small cabinet to store the other items that could not fit into the first cabinet.
This smaller cabinet stores small mallet, lager cutter and hammers (left side of the cabinet).
Here is the end result
Pretty happy with the result. It is now better organized and found new floor space.
The main cabinet structure is finally assemble with a back and the front doors are progressing.
The shell of the cabinet is finally assembled and the back is now in place and screwed to the main structure.
The shelf is in place for the place till and serve as a divider for the lower part of the cabinet. The Interior shot has the 2 sides for the plane till (not visible too much, but present). The panel of the plane till can now be placed on the 2 support and rest on the back and shelf.
The interior organisation can now start to be built according to plan. Most of the structure will be built as per plan but the tool holding will vary as my tool set differs. As I build the different components, the organisation is also being taught off and should progress as there is progress and got some time to put on the cabinet.
There is 2 front doors to the cabinet that also doubles as tool storage. Again, the exact tool storage strategy is not quite defined yet. As with the main cabinet, they are still in the planning phase.
Pictures above are some of the shots showing the progress. They are only dry fitted for the time being and the next step is to put some glue to finalise the setup. They are also missing a small hand plane pass to remove the marks for the proper assembly of the parts.
The face frames are also missing the panels that are not cut yet. The wood is selected, still in the rough state. Before the glue up for the face frames and then to the other frame, the panels will be assembled and rabetted to fit into the groove inside the frame.
As I write this post, I am still on vacation but last week, some visits were relating to woodworking in vacation.
Our vacation was located in the beautiful location of Niagara in Ontario. Yes there was the falls, but beyond the obvious, there was some other attractions that were worth while.
We had the kids with us and having the occasion to fruit pick was a nice opportunity to show them what is was. Peach season was not yet there, too early but was able to get some cherries along the way.
Although it was towards the end of the season, the cherries were still pickable if this can be said. They were still very nice to pick and with the sun glowing between the branches, this made for some great picture.
I was able to see some cherry trees in there natural environment with there fruit hanging from the branches. They were not very tall trees, i’d say in total about 7′ tall, maybe a but more but not much. I live close by to other farms that picking strawberries and apples (in season) is easy but picking cherries was not a common activity that was easy access to us. This was very interesting and worth doing again if we are in the area.
I am a growing fan of whisky and starting to know what I like and dislike. Canadian whisky is a taste that I am cultivating and when looking for activities to do while in the Niagara region, visiting a local distillery was high on the todo list.
We are not drinkers of wine so visiting a winery and the vines was not something that was too appealing to us.
After doing some research, we found Dillon Distillery which was about 20 minutes from our hotel. Visits are organised on a regular basis and are very well done by one of the distillers. Included in the visit, was the ability to taste a subset of what they produce. All there products are available in there store part of the distillery and are offered in local LCBO which carries there product.
I Brought back there Rye Whiskey and tasted other products. The visit and the tasting made the trip worth while. The kids were also able to visit and were pretty curious. Also noted the smell which was pretty distinct of a distillery. I really recommend the visit if you are in the area.
One last note, Lee Valley opened a store in Niagara Falls not too long ago and as I needed some products from them, it was convenient to stop by and get what I needed in person.
I’ve been to a few Lee Valley stores and I can say that the new look is very nice and finally, being able to touche there tools that they manufacture, i.e. the saws, plane chisels is very good. There are work bench with wood and you can try the tool to the wood and the employees are there to help.
This tool testing is finally a very good initiative to do as other manufacturer, i.e. one of there biggest competitors did exactly that so that users were exposed to there tools and not into glassed cabinets. Kudos for that.
Other tools were in demos where these tools are available through LeeValley which is also a very good selling point to offer the users to test drive.
There is a place close to home that that had to cut some trees and logs were available to buy for anyone that were interested.
Here are the small logs that me and my dad were able to get a hold of.
The criteria was that the dimensions were to fit within the capacity of my band saw to slice. The Laguna Bandsaw that I have has a capacity of about 12″ of resaw capacity so this was pretty much the diameter capacity of the logs that I could handle.
Was able to get a hold of 1 log of what I think is walnut and 2 others are Ash logs.
The plans are the following :
With the walnut log, about one half will be sliced to cut some platter that will be cut in the horizontal plane, kind of big coasters but bigger. These will be used to serve food or any other projects. Just not quite sure yet. The idea is to let it dry a bit and eventually finish it with a food save type of finish as there is a good chance that it will be seeing some food it the near future.
For the second half of the walnut log and the 2 ash logs, the plan is to resaw in the length of the log to get some boards. The cut will be made to include some quarter sawn grain. I have some plans to try to make some small boxes and getting straight grain would make some nice side components.
This is my first experiment in resewing logs and I don’t plan to make this a career plan to resaw logs but I think this should be a nice experience to resaw and dry the lumber. Granted it should no yield a whole bunch of lumber but still. I might actually like to too much, who knows….
I was due to replenish my band saw blades form the last purchase I made. I have always used the highland woodworking wood slicer saw blades. As it was primarily to resaw or rip, I took a pretty large blade (3/4″) blade.
My band saw is a Lagune LT3000 16″ band saw and the length of the band is 132″. granted that there are longer blades then that, it was still pretty significant blade, specially with the 3-4 skip tooth configuration
Looking around for new blades
Not that I disliked the blades, they gave very good results. But being in Canada, last time I ordered 2 blades, the shipping was nearly as much as the value of the 2 blades. I also added the exchange rate, being in Canada.
This is not a complaint, don’t get me wrong, but I was interested to see if there was not an alternative closer to home which would give me comparable performance but cheaper in price.
After looking around for different alternative, I found the Tuff Tooth web site through research of other blades. Price were pretty reasonable and they are a Canadian company, even better. Shipping cost were pretty minimal also.
I have been running 3/4″ blades since I own the saw, about 5 years ago. I have been pretty satisfied with this dimension, but sometimes, having a smaller blade would of been appreciated.
So I decided to go with a 1/2″ and 1 3/4″ blade to try out and see how would compare. I also went with the 3 tpi which is pretty agressive cut. For what I do, the band saw blade is not the last blade to touch the wood so have a not so finish surface is ok with me. There will always be another tool that will pass after to better the surface, being either a plane, other saw or sand paper.
I should be able to test out the new blades pretty soon and report back for results.